Media freaks out over Brussels blackout as part of city plunges into darkness (PHOTOS)
A power failure affecting several areas of the Belgian capital has caused a Twitterstorm with pictures of pitch-black cityscapes. However, it appears that the media got way more apprehensive than Brussels residents as unconfirmed reports of “sirens and police” emerged.
The sudden blackout affected the Evere, Schaarbeek and Sint-Lambrechts-Woluwe municipalities of the Brussels-Capital Region, Belgian gas and electricity network provider Sibelga has confirmed. It said the cause of the power failure was not immediately clear.
Bruxelles dans le noir : images vues du ciel de @raphaelaltenloh ! Beau ! @ContactNews#blackout#brusselspic.twitter.com/rLGT2k1Hvu— Corentin Simon (@Corentinsim) February 9, 2017
The incident was “not a terrorist attack,” Belgian high-voltage transmission system operator Elia tweeted, but instead “a technical error in one of the high-voltage substations.” The substations have already been fixed and the power will be gradually restored, it said.
The blackout in Brussels is not a terrorist attack but a technical error in one of the high-voltage substations.— Elia (@eliacorporate) February 10, 2017
Numerous photos posted on social media showed dark neighborhoods, with a halo emerging from non-affected areas in the distance.
#blackout over in my part of town #saintjosse#brussels but not everywhere pic.twitter.com/BE09CDVOVd— Jack Lovell (@JackLovell313) February 9, 2017
#BrusselsBlackOut some of the streets in Brussels having black out. #WhatHappen?? #QueC'estIlPassé? pic.twitter.com/bG1UF1TC56— femmy ticoalu (@femonic06) July 2, 2016
La frontière #Schaerbeek#Woluwe n'a jamais été aussi claire... surtout côté Woluwé! #bruxelles#brusselsblackoutpic.twitter.com/Lda4bSAa2w— Matthieu Henkens (@MattHenkens) February 9, 2017
Already for two hours #Brusselsblackout now. #Schuman & #Maalbeek. Only the @EU_Commission is lucky. pic.twitter.com/YVdYFGRuMk— Stijn Croes (@StijnCroes) February 9, 2017
Most residents appeared pretty chill about the blackout, with some lighting candles and continuing to work at their laptops, unfazed.
Working on bateries and under candle light during #BrusselsBlackout ;) pic.twitter.com/JD8wKxaECP— Pavel Trantina (@ptrantina) February 9, 2017
Even die van #Brussel jaloers maken...#Brussels#Brusselsblackoutpic.twitter.com/fTaMRM8QkA— Maarten Schenk (@mschenk) February 9, 2017
However, a number of media outlets reacted with Apocalyptic headlines, with Mirror and The Sun claiming the entire city was on “security alert” with “sirens heard all over the city.” The New York Post reported on the “mysterious outage,” and its second paragraph carrying a reminder of the March 2016 terrorist attack in Brussels. The International Business Times directly claimed the blackout “sparked fears of a terror attack.”
#SecurityAlert#Brussels#Belgium— tiniskwerl (@tiniskwerl) February 9, 2017
Entire Capital in Darkness#Terror Fears
Unconfirmed Cause#Police Sirens https://t.co/1S6FNwNtAC
BREAKING | Electricity cut in entire #Brussels#Belgium. Sirens are heard all over the city. pic.twitter.com/QNpFnpQ4gB— Vocal Europe (@thevocaleurope) February 9, 2017
Some witnesses responded to the media fuss with tweets and video messages.
Can the media abroad stop their sh*t about panic in #Brussels during #poweroutage ? There is no panic whatsoever here!!! Geesh!— Marc Legrand (@OpinionatedMarc) February 9, 2017
Video taken at 0005 in #Brussels in #schuman, #power still out. Faint rare siren can be heard, nothing out of the ordinary. pic.twitter.com/htUhr5DQ52— Nick Smith (@newswrthyvision) February 9, 2017
well i'm in #Brussels, i see no total blackout, no police and sirens everywhere. Calm down... pic.twitter.com/9O2mIn4Xy7— francesco strazzari (@franxstrax) February 9, 2017
#BrusselsBlackout#stopoverreacting#dontpanicpic.twitter.com/gOALrReFVF— Sara De Bruycker BIS (@sara_db_BIS) February 9, 2017
The lights are most certainly on in this part of #Brussels & no sirens - calm down twitter! pic.twitter.com/PXL55HgTeA— Patricia Reilly (@trishbrussels) February 9, 2017